How to build Moonbeam, a 100 MPG microcar

one gallon challenge 2011
Summer 2009: The One Gallon Challenge
The Microcar Concept
Why three wheels?
Why Not Electric?
Street Legality
Test Drives
How to Build Moonbeam
photos 1 and 2
Photos 3 and 4
Photos 5 and 6
Photos 7, 8, and 9
Some more Pictures
Improvements you might make
How you may use this information
Links and Videos to Check Out
Maine to Santa Monica at slow speed
Report from Santa Monica's Altcarexpo
Progress Report Jan 8, 2009
Moving On! August, 2011
The Sequel to Moonbeam: Sunbeam

      Keep track of how you use your car(s) on a weekly basis.  You might see that you are often using a large car when you could be using a very small car.  Getting groceries, picking up kids, going to the doctor's--these are often errands which don't take us far from home, or require speeds more than 40MPH.   Perhaps you could substitute a tiny car, a sort of enclosed motorscooter for these situations--a microcar.

     Frustrated with the price of my Toyota's fill-up,  I built a microcar in my garage over the 2005-6 winter.  It's no beauty queen I admit.  I used $2500 in materials and about 1000 hours of labor.  Named "Moonbeam", it weighs 400 pounds, gets  85 MPG around town and 105 MPG on an economy run.   

      I know that most people are not about to take on such a project--satisfying though it's been-- but I am hoping that within a few years, such cars will become common.  When they do, we will use only a fraction of the resources and fuel to move our bodies around, and be rewarded by spending only $5 for a fill-up. 

     This website has gotten pretty bulky, since I love to write.  So, to get an overview,  just look at the pictures and specifications, and later, if you have the time and interest, dig deeper.  The page,  "How to build Moonbeam" was the original centerpiece of the site.
If you want to see what Moonbeam led to in the years following,  see and for details



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